With the advent of the French Open days away, predicting a winner on the women's side is pure conjecture.
Dinara Safina is the world's top-ranked player, but needless to say, her grip is tenuous despite favorable results the past few weeks.
The Williams sisters might wend their way through the draw, considering the dearth of legitimate Grand Slam threats, but on clay, there is no assurance. So who wins? Our experts debate.
French Open women's predictions
Bonnie D. Ford
ESPN.com tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis writer
Florida-based tennis writer
Early ExitPains us to say this, but the defending champion, Ana Ivanovic, has played only three matches in the past two months.Some horrific results this year for the defending French Open champion, Ana Ivanovic. Hard to see the Serb rallying at this point.Ana Ivanovic has had a rough ride with injuries the past year, including just pulling out of Madrid. Sadly, she's not physically equipped to do battle this year. SleeperThe little lefty who could, Patty Schnyder, is about to play in her 50th straight Slam and has reached the fourth round or better at Roland Garros in six of the past seven years.The 23-year-old Estonian, Kaia Kanepi, likes the red stuff. She reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros a year ago -- a career-best Slam result.Patty Schnyder reached the second week in Paris six of the past seven years. She loves the surface and is set to step into Week 2 again this year. WinnerJelena Jankovic is overdue for a breakthrough in a Slam, and this surface should be the most hospitable to her varied game if she can handle it with confidence and consistency.Dinara Safina sometimes lapses into Marat-esque moments, but she played in the 2008 French Open final and seems poised for a big-time breakthrough.Dinara Safina is intent on proving her No. 1 ranking is deserved and a Grand Slam title would work wonders. Momentum is on her side with recent titles at Rome and Madrid. Kamakshi Tandon
Toronto-based tennis writer
London-based tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis editor
Early ExitThe rising teen, Victoria Azarenka, hurt her knee again in Madrid and will have a tough time in Paris if she's not fully fit.The still shaky defending champion, Ana Ivanovic, won two dirt matches entering Roland Garros and skipped Madrid with a knee injury. No chance of a repeat.Vera Zvonareva played inspired tennis throughout the hard-court season. So naturally, an early ousting will befall her in Paris. SleeperShe played some fine tennis in Madrid, and this year will probably be one of Amelie Mauresmo's last chances to show she can rise to the occasion.Could Amelie Mauresmo finally excel at the French, when few expect it? She surged in Madrid and has fond recent memories of Paris, winning indoors in February.Sabine Lisicki is a tenacious player in the midst of a prosperous clay campaign. She has the game to go deep at any Grand Slam event. WinnerDinara Safina has been the one to beat for almost a month now, which is a long time in women's tennis these days. But she'll have to fight herself to capture the title.Jelena Jankovic has been improving, though in terms of form, trails the likes of Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Call this one, uh, man's intuition.Choosing a winner is as clear as mud. Jelena Jankovic has evolved from abject bust to respectable since the arrival of the clay season.
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2009 FRENCH OPEN
Women's singles: Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia
Roger Federer, Switzerland
Men's doubles: Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic and Leander Paes, India
Women's doubles: Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual, Spain
Mixed doubles: Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan, United States
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